8 Keys to Success

This week is the first week of classes at many of the Veterans in STEM partner colleges and universities. As co-principal investigator and project director, I would like to extend my welcome back to college/university.

Veterans in STEM addresses each of the ‘8 Keys to Success‘ for veterans. Our team is honored and enthusiastic to do our work each day. We want you to be part of our work and help other veterans reach success.

  1. Create a culture of trust and connectedness across the campus community to promote well-being and success for veterans. This fall, KC-BANCS Veterans in STEM is sponsoring workshops at UMKC, MCC, and KCKCC for faculty, staff, and administration on supporting student veterans.
  2. Ensure consistent and sustained support from campus leadership.
  3. Implement an early alert system to ensure all veterans receive academic, career, and financial advice before challenges become overwhelming. In addition to the early alert system at a college or university, the Veterans in STEM program, through academic coaching, can help students navigate higher education and career planning.
  4. Coordinate and centralize campus efforts for all veterans, together with the creation of a designated space (even if limited in size). Veterans in STEM supports all efforts of partner colleges to centralize campus efforts for veterans. While these efforts are in-process, Veterans in STEM can bring together resources for veteran college students related to degree progress and completion, financial aid, and career exploration.
  5. Collaborate with local communities and organizations, including government agencies, to align and coordinate various services for veterans. Each year, KC-BANCS hosts STEM Talks – a community conversation that brings together employers, educators, veterans, and college students, nonprofits, and colleges/universities to discuss and collaborate on important issues. Watch for the report of proceedings from June 2013 STEM Talks. KC-BANCS also serves on committees and task forces locally and at the state level to bring to the forefront what we are learning about how colleges and universities can be veteran-supportive.
  6. Utilize a uniform set of data tools to collect and track information on veterans, including demographics, retention and degree completion.
  7. Provide comprehensive professional development for faculty and staff on issues and challenges unique to veterans. Veterans in STEM shares information and best practices with campus leadership through several programs each year and quarterly newsletters. We highlight college students who are military Veterans and want to continue to focus on your accomplishments and success.
  8. Develop systems that ensure sustainability of effective practices for Veterans. Veterans in STEM works to leverage the investment made by the National Science Foundation in Kansas City colleges/universities to support more veterans to pursue STEM careers.
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